Nourishing Journey

This blog provides information, tips, and support for restricted diets due to food allergies and intolerances of all kinds, while geared specifically toward dietary solutions for ADHD & Autism. GFCF, gluten, dairy, soy, artificial additives &...

Stephani is a winner of Top 25 Food Allergy Moms - 2012

What's your best advice for a mom struggling with cooking for children with food allergies?

My motto is: Make a plan for everything! Keep records and notes of all the details. Staying organized and planning ahead is the key to keeping your sanity when you can't rely on take out as a back-up. Lucky for us, it's much healthier, too! ;) Create a weekly menu plan that is flexible for unexpected changes. Schedule bake sessions for larger batches and keep things like muffins, cupcakes, and cookies in the freezer for last-minute parties and even extra meal portions for emergencies. There is a natural learning curve to transition through, and as the title of my blog "Nourishing Journey" hints, it is a life long journey. So don't get overwhelmed in the process, but enjoy the "ups" and learn from the "downs." As you learn to plan ahead and create your routine, it will get easier. Always focus on what you can have, not what you can't - and most importantly - have fun! Food cooked with love tastes all the better! :)

What's your favorite allergy friendly product?

While not necessarily only "allergy friendly," I love any kitchen gadget that will make my job of cooking for a large family easy and fun. Whether it's my little hand chopper from Tupperware that minces like magic, the Blendtec blender that creates healthy but delicious green smoothies in a heartbeat, my forever-sharp ceramic knives or my gigantic collection of cookie cutters for special treats... these are the little things that make spending extra time in the kitchen a breeze.
As for actual food products, I'm simply pleased to have a big collection of resources to choose from. Thankfully, that has changed over the years to have more available products! Being an international family, (I'm from Texas but we live in Austria where my husband is from) I rely on the internet for many specialty items. No matter where we are in the world, we have access to a variety of ingredients and products. So you don't have to live next door to a health food store to have access to allergy friendly food.

What's the biggest challenge raising a child with food allergies?

Helping my children not feel left out because of their restricted diet. We follow a gluten, dairy, soy and artificial free diet due to my son's Aspergers and ADHD and my daughter's eczema. Thankfully they don't have life-threatening reactions, but following a diet for these less extreme reasons can make it easy to say "just this once" will be ok when it truly isn't. It makes me proud to know my kids are willing to follow a special diet as they get older and are not under my watchful eye all the time. They know all too well how those foods make them feel! It makes me work harder to provide allergy friendly food that is just as tasty, kid-friendly and fun as the other stuff!